Maintenance Tip: Caulking Your Bathroom

Regular maintenance on your home is important to keep up with on a consistent basis.  It not only protects your home, but also when it comes time to sell it, it shows potential buyers that your home has been well-maintained and makes a lasting impression.

Quick Bathroom Tip:

One of the simplest things you can do is re-caulk your bathroom vanities, sinks, showers, toilets and trim on a yearly to bi-yearly basis.  The caulk in your bathroom is quick to wear out because of it’s daily use.  It is important to help prevent water from penetrating the cracks in your shower and causing mold.

It is a simple project, all you need is a caulk gun, matching caulk and a razor blade or paint scraper.  All of these can be picked up at your local home improvement store.  To keep caulk looking good and working properly, its important to scrape the old caulk off first with a razor blade or paint scraper.  This is time consuming, however, it is a very important step.   Putting layer on top of layer not only makes it look bad, but also reduces the effectiveness.  You can be pretty aggressive when you are scraping the old caulk off, don’t worry about removing a small amount of grout in the process.

Once you have removed the old caulking, make sure that the surface is clean and dry.  The next step is to apply a bead of caulking to all of the seams.  In the shower, you will want to make sure to apply caulking to the edges of the floor or tub, to all of the corners, to any glass doors you might have as well as to benches or shelves.  You can use multiple colors of caulking to acheive the desired effect.  For instance, if you have a glass or metal framed door, you may want to use clear caulking there and then colored caulking in the corner of the shower.

Once you have applied a bead of caulking, you can use your finger to smooth it down and push it into the cracks.  It helps to have your finger slightly damp.  You may need to run your finger over the seam multiple times to achieve the desired effect.  Keep a damp rag handy so you can wipe your finger off.  Once you have completed the job, try to allow the caulking to dry for 24-48 hours before using your shower again.  It will make your bathroom look brand new!

-Anne Skinner